A Celebration of Rubber Ducky Day

For a change of pace, let’s contemplate a celebration of rubber ducky day on this dreary January 13th.

Adults too often forget the importance of fun for relieving stress.  And who isn’t stressed during these incessant waves of the pandemic? Finding a way to celebrate Rubber Ducky day is an excuse for some fun.

Why Celebrate a Rubber Ducky?

A rubber ducky takes us back to happy childhood times.  A frivolous celebration also gives a boost of energy, creativity — and, most of all, fun!

A search on Dr. Google tells me that rubber duckies were created in the late 1800s sometime after the invention of rubber.  Soon after, these squeezable and chewable toys were distributed around the world.  They became especially popular when Ernie, one of the Sesame Street characters played with his ducky in the bath and sang the famous Rubber Ducky tune.

You know the tune.  It goes something like “Rubber Ducky you’re the one.  You make bathtime lots of fun.  Rubber Ducky,  I’m awfully fond of you. dum de de dum dum…..”

Rubber Ducky day on January 13 commemorates the Sesame Street episode where Ernie introduced the ducky and said it was rubber duckie’s birthday.

Rubber Ducky Uses

Scientists use duckies and other floaties to understand ocean currents.  After thousands of toy duckies were accidentally dumped from a freighter into the southern Pacific Ocean, they began showing up on coastlines near Alaska months later. These discoveries helped with tracking ocean currents.

Rubber duckies are collector’s items for some. An American, Charlotte Lee, has over 5000 in her collection. Collections are also housed in museums. Many collections contain stylized versions to depict famous people.

Canada’s largest collection is found at Le Petit Duck Shoppe in Old Montreal, https://www.lepetitduckshoppe.com/en/a novelty store that specializes in rubber duckies and related items.

In 2007 inflatable duckie replicas created by a Dutch artist, Florentijin Hofman toured the world.  These huge duckies were up to 54 feet tall and brought smiles to many faces.

yellow duck on water near city buildings during daytime
Celebrating Rubber Ducky Day — a huge inflatable ducky — photo by Rostyslav Savchyn

Many communities sponsor rubber ducky races as fundraisers at all times of the year. Hundreds of numbered duckies are released on a river or a lake.  Onlookers can cheer on their favourite or place bets on duckies that may be winners.


As a child, I never owned a rubber ducky. My mother considered bath time a necessary activity but it was not playtime.

When our son was a toddler and an ardent fan of every Sesame Street character, he had a rubber ducky that he loved. He would play with the ducky in the tub and sing the Sesame Street song over and over again begging to stay in the bath for just “5 minutes more”!

Several rubber duckies made their home in the shower at the cottage when our grandchildren were younger.  I kept a large ducky in the guest bathroom at our house for their sleepover bathtimes. The duckies were well used (and sometimes chewed) although I was the only one singing the Sesame Street song as my grandchildren never watched those rubber ducky episodes on tv.

Somehow, squeezing water from the ducky made shampoos more fun.  Diving in a sea of bubbles to look for a lost ducky or watching it race in the stream of the faucet gave pleasure along with screams of delight. The duckies did make bathtime lots of fun!

How I’ll Celebrate Rubber Ducky Day

To celebrate this day, I’ll resolve to have fun and not worry about being a silly old lady.

I’ll play one of the Sesame Street vinyl records in my husband’s collection and listen to Ernie singing the famous tune.  I’ll dance my body and sing along.

I’ll go to a toy shop and buy a new ducky (or two or three) to leave on the edge of my tub as a reminder that the fun of owning a ducky isn’t limited to children.

Although ducky races are held all over the world, in my Ontario city the temperature will hover around -5 degrees Celcius.  I don’t think there will be a race near to me so I’ll get into a sudsy bath and race my new ducky!

Happy Rubber Ducky day to all readers!  Find your way to have fun on this bleak January day!

2 Replies to “A Celebration of Rubber Ducky Day”

  1. Thanks for a fun post. Our neighborhood host a rubber ducky fundraiser in our lazy river at the start of each pool season. I once saw a shower curtain with rubber duckies who were holding umbrellas. It was so fun, and I have regretted not buying it. It was when my kids were little. Instead I chose one that “went” with the decor of the room. However, I have learned my lesson and will opt for the smile every time now! Enjoy your Rubber Ducky Day!

    1. You are lucky to have a rubber ducky race so near to you! I hope the organizers have many quirky rubber duckies for sale at the event!

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